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SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (5-4-3-0) at BAKERSFIELD CONDORS (8-5-0-0)
TUES., MAR. 16 | 6:00 P.M. | SAP Center at San Jose | San Jose, CA
LISTEN | WATCH | GAME NOTES
Back to Work: The Barracuda and Condors square off for the third of four-straight games against each other on Tuesday, as the head-to-head shifts to SAP Center. Tuesday marks the fourth meeting on the 10-game season series between the Pacific Division foes and the fourth meeting of seven in the month of March. The Condors enter the game riding the AHL’s longest winning streak at eight games after a 4-3 win over the Barracuda in overtime on Saturday. Tuesday’s contest will mark the first game played at SAP Center for the Barracuda since March 7, 2020.
Blichfeld is Back: In his second game back from assignment, Joachim Blichfeld buried his team-leading sixth goal of the year on Saturday and now has 10 points on the season which also ranks first on San Jose. Before his recall, Blichfeld had recorded points in five consecutive games (6+3=9) and had goals in three-straight appearances (five goals over that span).
Dynamic Duo: Cooper Marody (3+0=3) and Tyler Benson (0+2=2) each collected multiple points on Saturday, extending their point streaks to nine games apiece. Marody, last week’s CCM/AHL Player of the Week, leads the AHL in scoring (19) and goals (12) and has 11 goals and six assists over his last nine. Marody’s hat-trick on Saturday was his second three-goal outing in the last week. Benson has four goals and 12 assists over his last nine.
Bakersfield Buzzing: After beginning the season 0-5, the Bakersfield Condors have won their last eight consecutive games, outscoring their opponents 35-to-10 during their winning streak. During the streak, Bako has collected a power-play goal in six of the eight games (6/27=22%) and dating back to Feb. 13 (0-3 L vs. Henderson) the Condors have killed off 24-straight on the penalty kill. Bakersfield has scored the first goal in nine-straight games and have not given up a first-period goal over the eight games, outscoring their opponents 14-to-0 in the opening-20 minutes.
Gregor Grilling: On Tuesday, Noah Gregor beat Lukas Dostal of the San Diego Gulls just 11 seconds into the first period, setting a new franchise record for the quickest goal to start a game. The Barracuda would win the contest 4-2 and Gregor, who was assigned to the AHL earlier in the afternoon from the Sharks, would finish with a pair of points (1+1=2) and the game’s first star. Gregor has skated in 15 games with the Sharks this year, scoring three times. Since be assigned to the AHL on Tuesday, the second-year pro has a point in all three games he’s played (1+3=4), including two assists on Saturday.
Up and Down: The Sharks recalled centermen Antti Suomela and Fredrick Handemark on Thursday from the Barracuda. For Suomela, 26, it marks his first recall of the year. Due to the delayed AHL and NHL start, Suomela began the year in Finland, appearing in 10 games with HIFK (Liiga), collecting five points (2+3=5). He currently ranks firsts on the Barracuda in shots (28) and power-play points/assists (3). In 10 games with the Barracuda, the third-year Shark’ has six points (1+5=6). Handemark, 27, scored twice on Tuesday in the Barracuda’s 4-2 win over San Diego and leads the club with a plus-six rating. Handemark has seven points (3+4=7) in 10 games with the Barracuda this year. The first-year Shark', made his NHL debut on Jan. 18 at St. Louis. Handemark, like Suomela, began the year in Europe, skating in 25 games with the Malmo Redhawks (SHL), totaling 15 points (6+9=15). Handemark scored his first NHL goal (Ryan Miller) in the Sharks’ 6-0 win over Anaheim on Friday.
Rookie Rising: Sharks’ 2018 first-rounder Ryan Merkley netted his first pro goal on Friday and now leads all Barracuda rookies in scoring (1+5=6) and is tied for 11th among all first year AHL blueliners in points. Last season, with the London Knights, Merkley led all OHL d-men in assists (61) for the second consecutive season.